Lots of autistic folks are writing blog posts sharing tips on how to survive Christmas, which can be a very difficult time of year for us. I’m not going to do that, but rather just describe my plan for today. It’s a plan and routine that I have honed over the last few years and that suits me and my family.
Right now, I am in my freshly-tidied library room, chilling on the sofa and writing this.
As soon as they woke up, the kids came into my bedroom, woke us up, and chatted and cuddled for a while. And then we went downstairs and I made coffee and we opened the presents. My husband tidied away the wrapping paper as we unwrapped things, because he doesn’t like having it strewn all over the floor!
[image shows my sitting room. There is a yellow chair on the left and a tv on the right. In between is a Christmas tree with its lights on. Under the tree are presents of various shapes and sizes]
For brunch I will cook a full Irish breakfast, consisting of sausages, bacon, eggs, toast and freshly squeezed orange juice. After that we will spend many hours playing video games together as a family. MarioKart to start and plenty of breaks to recover. At some stage I will read the new book my husband got me, while he reads the one I got him. The kids will play with their new toys.
We will eat chocolates and snack on cheese and crisps and various other things. Then I will start preparing the dinner. Experience has taught us that it’s better if everyone stays out of my way as I do this. Once dinner is ready, the kids will come and eat in the kitchen with us. It’s the only time they ever agree to sit at the kitchen table, as the kitchen is usually uncomfortable for them. So, we get an annual concession.
The hamster and zebra finches will be given raw Brussels sprouts for their Christmas dinner. While the dog gets lots of leftover turkey. He also got a new squeaky toy and some dog treats. We may take him for an extra long walk if it ever stops raining. Other than that, we are not leaving the house.
We may play some more video games after dinner, or watch tv in front of the fire, or go back to reading our books. We may hang out in the same room, or each hang out in different rooms.
And that is it. No visiting, no visitors, no pressure. Just an incredibly chilled out day.